Bangkok isn’t the first destination that jumps to mind for kid-friendly fun — but then you’re not the typical family, are you? Perhaps you and your partner are savvy world travelers looking to expose your kids to some real culture in one of the world’s most vibrant cities, or perhaps you’re just looking for a relaxing city break with your little one. Either way, you’re in luck — plenty of Bangkok’s hotels are prepared to accommodate your kids. There are some great self-catering hotels with lots of space that should appeal to you just as much as to business travelers, and plenty of hotels with cool pools for beating Bangkok’s heat. Top luxury hotels here often even have kids’ clubs.
Sandwiched between the U.S. and Dutch embassies in Bangkok's leafy and residential Lumpini neighborhood, the Oriental Residence Bangkok is home to 145 luxury apartment-style residences that attract both long- and short-stay guests. Even without its romantic, French-inspired decor, the hotel would be impressive as the home of Michelin-starred chef Henk Savelberg's Thailand outpost; these, together with a stylized roof deck pool, modern fitness center overlooking the city, two other restaurants and bars, and full kitchens in every room cement its place as a truly luxe and discreet destination. That the nearest skytrain station is within walking distance (as is verdant Lumpini Park) is just icing on the cake. Two-Bedroom Suites are available, not especially common in the city.
The Mandarin Oriental is the city's premier luxury hotel for a reason -- it truly can cater to the needs of all types of guests, including families. It is one of the only hotels in the city with a true kids' club, open daily for ages three to 14 from 3 to 11 p.m. The staff at Sanook Sanook Kids' Club arts and crafts as well as educational games. Babysitting services are offered, and amenities such as cribs and kids' bath amenities can be provided (kids in suites also get storybooks). Many suites here can fit four or five guests, including the aptly named Family Two-Bedroom Suite, sleeping five. There is also a dedicated kiddy pool.
The 300-room Siam Kempinski is one of Bangkok's most opulent hotels. It's a five pearl property located smack in the city center, behind the Siam Paragon luxury mall. Elegant rooms -- set around a garden oasis with saltwater swimming pools flowing through it -- are decked out in contemporary Thai decor and feature silk curtains and paintings as well as amenities such as daily stocked minibars and big flat-screen TVs. Some rooms give direct access into the large meandering pool that is the centerpiece of the property. The free staffed kids' club here is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. for ages three to 12.
The Anantara Bangkok Riverside Resort & Spa is a luxury resort perched along the river outside central Bangkok, and a free, 20-minute ferry ride from the capital's bustling downtown. With a full-service spa, large outdoor pool flanked by lounges and palm trees, a modern fitness club with a sauna, a kids' club, and nine restaurants and bars -- as well as a dinner cruise -- the resort has plenty on-site to keep guests entertained. Fun extras include a cooking school, organized cultural tours around the city, and a smartphone in each room with free 4G. The staff at Chang Noi Kids' Club oversee activities such as table tennis and bracelet making.
A 38-story tower set back from a heavily trafficked thoroughfare in Bangkok's business district, the Anantara Bangkok Sathorn is a luxury hotel in a slightly odd location that attracts business travelers, well-heeled families, and high-end tour groups. The numerous features include four eating spots (including the impressive rooftop Zoom Sky Bar & Restaurant), a fully equipped gym, a rooftop terrace pool, tennis courts, extensive business and event space, and a kids' club. The luxurious rooms have private balconies with views over the city's rooftops, and some of the suites even have kitchenettes and dining areas. The roof terrace infinity pool deck is lined with lounges and sitting areas, and there's an adjoining kids' pool; the in-house pizza restaurant will deliver pies poolside. Two-Bedroom Suites are available.
The 420-room Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit is a luxury hotel set in the heart of Sukhumvit Road, near some of Bangkok's top dining, drinking, and nightlife venues. The hotel is right by the BTS Skytrain and MRT Subway making for convenient access around town, and there are hundreds of shops and restaurants just outside the hotel. The rooms here were renovated in 2014; beds feature 300 thread count sheets, bathrooms have separate showers and tubs, and there are large flat-screen TVs and work desks. The hotel has a spa, swimming pool, and fitness center, and is home to a large selection of bars and restaurants. Its sheer size helps it appeal to a broad range of guests, including families, though note that rooms can only sleep three -- but plenty of connecting rooms are available for larger families. High chairs and bottle warmers are available upon request.
Though the Peninsula Bangkok lacks both a kids' club and kiddy pool, it does offer babysitting services and kid-friendly in-room amenities, such as cribs and toiletry kits with diapers. Just note that most room categories can only fit three; only the most expensive suites can fit four (some connecting rooms are available). There are The Peninsula is one of Bangkok's more elegant luxury properties. Traditional, understated rooms feature marble bathrooms with large tubs, living quarters with large writing desks, and excellent river and city views. Numerous features include the Cantonese Mei Jiang fine-dining restaurant, the riverside Thiptara Thai, a huge swimming pool, an upscale fitness center, and the Peninsula Spa. The only downside (beside steep prices) is that the hotel is located on the west side of the Chao Phraya River. However, a shuttle boat quickly brings guests to the east bank, where most of Bangkok's main attractions are located -- many kids quite enjoy the boat ride. The Peninsula Academy includes activities appropriate for children, such as a Thai painting class and Junior Chef cooking class.